8. How to Market and Sell Your Services

Introduction

Marketing is what you do to create opportunities for selling. Marketing is anything you do to get attention and create interest:

The ways you can market your services include:

  • Giving presentations at local libraries, churches and senior centers, rehab centers or assisted living centers


  • Emails to targeted markets

  • Contacting people you know to ask them for referrals


  • Using an elevator pitch to quickly uncover interest.

Selling is what you do to get commitment. 

The ways you sell your services include:


  • Asking questions to get people to talk about their possible interest in a recorded memoir

  • Explaining features and benefits succinctly

  • Handling objections

  • Asking for a commitment.

Let’s be clear about a few things upfront:

  • Marketing and selling your services take time and effort. There is no easy way. Anyone who tells you otherwise is not being truthful.

  • One approach is not enough. You should do them all.

  • It takes time to build a business. The early days are the most challenging. Perseverance is required.

  • Over time word of mouth and referrals will generate a lot of new business, but you must never stop marketing and selling, or your business will wither.

In this module you will learn how to do marketing and selling (some tools included) and how to set up a marketing plan that will generate the business you want.

When you complete this training, you will be able to:

  • Recite a brief elevator pitch without hesitation or confusion

  • Use a PowerPoint presentation and present your services to a group, without hesitation or confusion

  • Research and determine to whom to promote your business 

  • Produce and send emails to people you know telling them about your services

  • Ask at least two questions to uncover desire for recording a memoir

  • Ask at least two questions to get a yes/no answer to get a commitment

  • Set up a marketing and sales plan and timetable that you can start implementing immediately.

MARKETING: Creating Interest and Desire for Your Services

Marketing Skill Number One: Reciting an Elevator Pitch

What is an Elevator Pitch?

An elevator pitch is a brief speech that explains the benefits of My Life & Stories and a recorded memoir. 

The term, elevator pitch, comes from the idea that if you only had a short amount of time (20 to 60 seconds) - as if riding in an elevator- you could describe your services and get someone to express interest.



Why is it important?

People have short attention spans. You often must get their attention in mere seconds if you want to spark interest.

A powerful elevator pitch is one way to do this. 

Your elevator pitch will be used over and over in group or one-to-one situations so it’s important to get it right – for you.

How to Produce an Elevator Pitch

We suggest you try to hone your elevator pitch to be completed in 20 seconds.

Twenty seconds is longer than you may think. Set a timer for 20 seconds to see what we mean.

An elevator pitch has 5 components:


1. Introduce yourself and what you do. 

“Hi, I’m Susan Gould; my company is My Life & Stories. We help people record their life stories to pass on to their children and grandchildren.”


2. Identify the problem you solve for your customers. 

 “Many people these days wish their parents and grandparents had recorded their stories. Memories fade and they don’t want that to happen with their children. They want to pass on their stories – or their children want them to - but until now it has been too difficult or too expensive.”


3. State how you provide a solution. 

“What we do is make it quick and easy to record their stories and the cost is very affordable.”


4. (BRIEFLY) Describe the features and benefits. 

“We provide a simple step by step process. We meet with them in their home. We help them prepare. Overall, we make it easy and they have such fun.  Their children are thrilled.”


5. Call to Action

Your call to action is based on the type of reaction you get.

If you get a positive reaction, such as: “Sounds interesting. My Dad should do this. He has great stories.”

Say something like: “Wonderful, I’d love to help. What do you suggest we do to see if your Dad would be interested?”


If you get a negative reaction, such as: “That’s not for me. My kids wouldn’t be interested.”

Say something like: “Sure, I understand. May I give you my card in case you know someone who might be interested?


If you get an indifferent reaction, such as: “Hmmmm, OK….”

Say something like: “Well, I was wondering, may I give you my card in case you know someone who might be interested?”


Produce YOUR Elevator Pitch


Your elevator pitch is one that fits your way of talking and personality; one that you are comfortable with.


Now you will write your own elevator pitch.


You can use the examples above and edit them or start from scratch. Just be sure to include the five steps:


1. Introduce yourself and what you do. 


2. Identify the problem you solve for your customers. 


3. State how you provide a solution. 


4. (BRIEFLY) Describe the features and benefits. 


5. Call to Action



Practice:


You MUST memorize your elevator pitch.


After you have memorized the pitch do the following:


  • Practice in the mirror. Tweak the pitch until you are satisfied. Make sure you can give the pitch without hesitation or confusion.
  • Ask for feedback. Ask someone you trust to let you practice. Ask them for feedback:
  • Do you sound confident?
  • Does the pitch spark interest?
  • Does your call to action seem appropriate?
  • Try it for real. Muster your courage and try it on a few strangers. See what kind of reaction you get. Keep tweaking until you are 100% comfortable and satisfied that the pitch is working.


Marketing Skill Number Two: Giving a PowerPoint Presentation

Introduction:


Your presentations should follow this format: It is called the Madison Ave approach because it is based on the way advertisements are created):


Hook: a comment or statement that grabs attention.


Empathy: At least three statements indicating your understanding of problems or concerns your audience may be experiencing.


Solution: One sentence stating how you can remedy these problems.


Elaboration: Statements that describe the My Life & Stories process and its benefits.


Call to action: a statement asking your audience to contact you for a private appointment.


Remember this about presentations:


People tune out quickly if you fail to capture their attention quickly which is why you need a good hook

  • People have short attention spans. Fifteen minutes is about as long as you can expect to hold their attention

  • When using slides, pictures are better than words

  • Your presentation must be targeted to your audience and their needs

  • You must show confidence and enthusiasm if you want to convince people your service is worthwhile. 

Two PowerPoint Presentations for You

In this module we provide you with two PowerPoint presentations; 


  • One for older people who will decide for themselves about doing a recorded memoir with you. It is likely you will give this presentation in assisted living complexes and senior centers.

  • And, one for adult children who will want you to record a memoir with their parent(s). It is likely you will give this presentation in libraries and churches.



The PowerPoint presentations are in your Resource folder in your back office. What follows is the scripts for each.

You are, of course, free to change or adapt these presentations in any way you wish.


Presentation One: Targeted to Older Potential Clients


Hook: What is more of a treasure than gold or silver? 


(Pause)


Memories.


Memories of your life. Memories of your times.



Empathy:  


Your grandparents, your parents… so many stories, so long ago … now faded or gone. If only they had left behind a record of their life’s stories to pass on to you and your children.


When we are gone what’s left are the memories our children and grandchildren have of us. But these memories also fade and like a tattered cloth remain as mere fragments.


Good memories are more than just what happened. They include how you felt and what you were thinking. Faded or partial memories are often stripped of those important qualities and can never be regained.


Solution:


But now they can. As your memoir mentor, I help you record your memories and save them for generations to come. It’s easy and it’s fun. 

Elaborate:


Let me give you an example.


Lillian was in her mid-80’s. She had four children and 12 grandchildren.


One of Lillian’s children was interested in family history and suggested that Lillian record her life stories. But Lillian was reluctant because she didn’t know how to go about it. A friend of Lillian’s heard about My Life & Times and how easy and enjoyable the process was.


I met with Lillian, showed her how to get prepared for recording her memories and a few weeks later we completed the recordings.


Lillian asked me to send a copy of the recording to each of her children and grandchildren. Days later she was inundated with phone calls from her family thanking her for such a valuable gift. One of Lillian’s granddaughters was pregnant and said she would be saving the recording for Lillian’s great grandchild knowing how much that child will appreciate Lillian’s memoir.



(Elaboration continued)

Did your children ask you questions about their grandparents or great grandparents that you couldn’t answer? Were they interested in what life was like way before they were born? 


And what about you? Did you ever wish your family had left behind more than just a few photos and old letters to help you learn about their lives and how their stories may have had an impact on you?


(Elaboration continued)


Think about this. It's 30 years from now. Your grandchildren's children come across a picture of you and ask their parents who you are you. They tell them that's grandma or grandpa. They ask many questions which no one can answer. How disappointing. 


(Elaboration continued)


But not your family.


Why, because you saved your memories and told stories about your life and times that your children's children and their children can listen to; stories told by you in a way that lets them know who you were what you cared about and what happened to you that had great meaning.


(Elaboration continued)


Imagine how they will feel as they listen to your voice telling them about your life, your joys, your struggles, what life was like in the world you lived in, how you felt and what you thought as you were growing up and experiencing life and what you learned from it all.


Imagine the treasure that they will have to be able to pass on for generation after generation. Better than any riches. Precious and cherished.


(Elaboration continued)


As a memoir mentor I make it easy and very enjoyable for you to record your memories. We meet for short periods of time.


I help you decide the stories you want to pass down to your family. The decision of course is all yours. I just act as your assistant.


Then we schedule time for you to record these stories.


You will love the experience as much as your family will love receiving your recording.


Call to Action:


If you think your family would cherish your memories too, let’s make time to talk one to one so you can decide if this is right for you. We can schedule time now or you can contact me by phone or email.


Let’s take time for questions.


Presentation Two: Targeted to Adult Children


Hook: 


Your parents and grandparents.


What is more of a gift they could leave you than money or possessions? 


Memories.


Memories. Stories of their life. Stories of their times.



Empathy:  


When we are gone what’s left are the memories our children and grandchildren have of us. 


But these memories can fade and like the leaves on a winter tree, remain in ever diminishing pieces.


Memories of grandparents or great grandparents fade and disappear. You have pictures and perhaps some keepsakes. But the stories of their lives are often gone forever.


If only they had left behind a record of their life’s stories to pass on to you and your children. Your parents have wonderful stories too and what a shame if they were lost to time.



Solution:


But now they can be saved and cherished. As your memoir mentor, I help your parents record their memories and save them for generations to come. It’s like producing a podcast. It’s easy and it’s fun. 


Elaborate:


Let me give you an example.


Lillian was in her mid-80’s. She had four children and 12 grandchildren.


One of Lillian’s children was interested in family history and suggested that Lillian record her life stories. But Lillian was reluctant because she didn’t know how to go about it. A friend of Lillian’s heard about My Life & Times and how easy and enjoyable the process was.

(Elaboration continued)


Her daughter contacted me and asked me to meet with Lillian. I called her and scheduled a time to talk. I showed her how to get prepared for recording her memories and a few weeks later we completed the recordings.

(Elaboration continued)


Lillian was a bit reluctant at first. But her daughter told her how much it would mean to be able to save her stores.


When we completed the recording sessions and I had produced her podcast, Lillian asked me to send a copy of the recording to each of her children and grandchildren. 

(Elaboration continued)


Days later she was inundated with phone calls from her family thanking her for such a valuable gift. 


One of Lillian’s granddaughters was pregnant and said she would be saving the recording for Lillian’s great grandchild knowing how much that child will appreciate Lillian’s memoir.

(Elaboration continued)


Did you ever wonder about your grandparents or great grandparents and their lives? 


Were you interested in what life was like way before you were born? 


And what about your kids? Did you ever wish you could show them more than just a few photos and old letters to help them learn about their great grandparents?


Think about this. It's 30 years from now. Your grandchildren's children come across a picture of your parents and ask their parents who he or she was. They tell them that's great grandma or grandpa. They ask many questions which no one can answer. How disappointing. 


But not your family.



Why, because your parents recorded their memories and told stories about their life and times that your children and their children can listen to; stories told by your mom and dad in a way that let's you know who they were, what they cared about and what happened to them that had great meaning.

(Elaboration continued)


Imagine how you and your kids will feel as you listen to your parents telling their life story, their joys, their struggles, what life was like in the world they lived in, how they felt and what they thought as they were growing up and experiencing life and what they learned from it all.


(Elaboration continued)


Imagine the treasure that you will have to be able to pass on for generation after generation. Better than any riches. Precious and cherished.


As a memoir mentor I make it easy and very enjoyable for your parents to record their memories. 

(Elaboration continued)


We meet for short periods of time.


I help them decide the stories they want to pass down. The decision of course is all theirs. I just act as their assistant, their mentor.


We schedule time to record these stories.


They will love the experience as much as your family will love receiving the recording.

Call to Action:


If you think your family would cherish your memories too, let’s make time to talk one to one with your Mom or Dad to see if they are interested. We can schedule time now or you can contact me by phone or email.


Are there any questions I can help with?


Thank you


A Few Tips About Giving Presentations

  • Make sure everyone can see the screen

  • Speak loud enough for all to hear but don’t shout!

  • Make eye contact with the group.

  • Move about and use your hands for emphasis (but be careful not to stand in front of the screen)

  • Show confidence and enthusiasm and sincerity – no matter how you feel inside

  • Practice, practice, practice.

Practice


You must practice and be comfortable with the presentation before you get up in front of a group.


Ideally you will memorize the presentation.


And you will be comfortable with the technology: using your laptop to show your PowerPoint, advancing the screens and so on.


The best way to practice is to do the presentations out loud.


Start with a mirror.


Then ask a friend or family member to watch you.


Tweak the presentation until you are happy with the wording and your manner of presenting.


Marketing Skill No. Three: Emails to Target Markets

Introduction

There are two main reasons you use email to market your services:


  • To schedule presentations

  • To get referrals.

One email is unlikely to be enough.

Chances are you will need to send multiple emails to the same target as well as follow up phone calls.

People are busy and they get lots of emails.

Don’t expect to break through their clutter on the first try.

But persevere. Keep trying until you get a response.

Building a Contact List

First, you must do research and get the names and emails of the people you need to contact. You may find this info on web sites or you may have to make phone calls.


For scheduling presentations, you decide how far you are willing to travel and then produce a list of:



  • Houses of Worship

  • Libraries

  • Senior Recreation Centers

  • Adult Day Care Centers

  • Assisted Living Facilities

  • Nursing Homes

  • Rehab Centers

  • Community Centers

  • Civic Groups

  • Personal contacts (friends and acquaintances)

Email to schedule presentations

Through your research you should have found the best person to contact.

This person might be the director, the activity director or whoever handles scheduling activities and presentations.


Your email should be very similar to your elevator pitch.

For example:


Hello _____
My name is ___________; my company is called My Life & Times. 
We help people record their life stories to pass on to their children and grandchildren.
Many people these days wish their parents had recorded their stories, Memories fade and they don’t want their children to miss out. 
Most want to pass on their stories – or their children want them to - but until now it has been too difficult or too expensive.
What we do is make it quick and easy for our clients to record their stories and the cost is very affordable.

We provide a simple step by step process. We meet with them in their home. Overall, we make it easy and they have such fun.  Their children are thrilled.
I think your members will be interested to learn about this opportunity.
I would like to schedule a 30-minute presentation at a time and date best for you. May we do so?
Please expect my follow up call in a day or so.


Thank you,



Email to get referrals


This email is to tell people you know about your business and to ask for referrals.


For example:


Hi _________

I am writing to tell you about my new and exciting venture.
I am now a trained memoir mentor. My company is called My Life & Stories. 

We help people record their life stories to pass on to their children and grandchildren.
Many people these days wish their parents had recorded their stories, Memories fade and they don’t want their children to miss out. 
Most people want to pass on their stories – or their children want them to - but until now it has been too difficult or too expensive.
What we do is make it quick and easy for our clients to record their stories and the cost is very affordable.

We provide a simple step by step process. We meet with them in their home. Overall, we make it easy and they have such fun.  Their children are thrilled.
I was wondering if I could ask for your help. 
Do you know anyone who might be interested in my services? If so, would you be willing to let me contact them saying you suggested I do so?
That would be such a big help.
Please call if you have any questions or, if you don’t mind, please reply with names of people you suggest I contact.
Thank you,


One final bit of advice about emails:


Follow up

Follow up 

Follow up.


How?


Phone follow up, for sure.


Or, change the heading on your last email to: IN CASE YOU MISSED THIS and resend the email with a note saying something like, “just in case you missed this I am resending it. Hope to hear from you soon.

Thank you.


Selling Skills

Selling is what you do to get commitment


Selling Skill No. One: Asking Questions to Get People to Talk About Their Possible Interest in a Recorded Memoir

Why?

One way to think about selling is as a helping skill; helping people make a decision that is in their best interest.

Many people think selling is telling; telling a potential client why they should sign up for your services.

No, selling is NOT telling!!! Selling is helping. 

And the best way to help someone decide is to ask them questions; questions that gently guide them to consider other points of view.

You’ll find it helpful to memorize several questions you can ask when you think it will be helpful. The following skills will help you create these questions.

Remember this: You ask questions because you have a sincere desire to help someone decide if a recorded memoir is right for them and their family. You never ask questions to try to trick someone or interrogate them until they relent.

Questions help a potential client think about possible benefits of a recorded memoir.

For example:

  • Do you think your family would appreciate having a recorded memoir of your life?

  • How do you think your family would react to hearing your life stories and being able to pass them on to future generations?

  • Did you ever wish your parents or grandparents had left you a recording of their life stories?

  • What do you think would be the value of having a recording of your life stories for your family?

Practice

Get comfortable asking at least three of these types of questions.

Write your own list if you wish.

Back to the mirror! Practice asking the questions – out loud – until they feel comfortable and genuine.

Then, ask a family member or friend to let you practice with them.

Selling Skill No. Two: Explaining Features and Benefits

WHY?

A feature is fact about or description of your services: what you do, how you do it and why you do it.

A benefit is the value of the feature – for the client.

HOW?

For example:

Feature: helping you remember and prepare for the recording sessions

Benefit: gets you to feel more confident that you will tell the stories you want to tell and remember important details.


Here is a list of features of your services and possible benefits to a potential client:

Provide you with a detailed guide to help you prepare for your recording sessions

This will help you feel more confident that you will include the details and stories you want to include

Meet with you in a private space 

This will help you feel more comfortable as if you were talking to a good friend

We go at your pace and do as many recording sessions as you need

You won’t be concerned about getting tired or doing too much at one time.

You can start over at any time and pause if needed 

"You don’t have to worry about “getting it right the first time.” 

Your recordings are edited to take out do overs and pauses

You can relax and enjoy because If you make a mistake or want to repeat a segment, we just do it again and I edit out the parts you don’t want to include.

You can distribute your recordings whenever to whomever you wish

You can “keep the recordings in the bank” or send them out right away. No pressure.

You can add to the recording every year or two to keep it up to date

You will feel happy that your recordings are always up to date

You always have a copy ready for distribution

It’s so easy. If you think of someone else you want to share your recordings with you just let me know. Or you can save the recording at home and send it out to whomever you wish.

When you ask the right questions, you will begin to understand what is important to a potential client.

That is the best time to explain an appropriate feature and benefit.

Practice:
The mirror again!
Then with a friend.

Start with a question. Then reply with an appropriate feature and benefit.

For example:

Question: Would it be helpful if you could update your memoir every year or two?

Potential client: Sure, I guess. Hopefully, I’ll have many more stories to tell!!

You: Yes, of course. Well, with my service, you can update your recording as often as you wish and feel happy knowing the recordings are up to date.

Selling Skill No. Three: Handling Objections

WHY?

Be happy when a potential client raises an objection. That means they are thinking about your services.

Raising objections are ways people help themselves make decisions.

Handling objections is just giving them a different way to think.

For example: 

  • That seems rather expensive.

  • What if I forget important stories?

  • I hate the sound of my voice.

  • Wouldn’t it be better to write a book?

  • Will my kids actually listen to my recording?

How to Handle Objections

There are two steps to handling objections:

Step One: acknowledge the concern
Step Two: suggest a different point of view.

Here are some suggested ways to handle the objections listed above, the key is to acknowledge and share different point of view:


That seems rather expensive

Yes, cost is certainly something to consider.

You may want to think of this as an investment that will pay off over many, many years.

What if I forget important stories?

That’s certainly a concern.

But the good news is we can always add the stories. It’s just a matter of scheduling another recording session.

I hate the sound of my voice

Sure, our voice can sound strange to us on a recording

Yet your family will love the sound of your voice because it is YOUR VOICE. That’s what they want to save and cherish.

Wouldn’t it be better to write a book?

Well, writing a book is certainly an option

However, we have found that the quickest and easiest way to preserve your memories is to record them. And it’s much less expensive than having a book printed.

Will my kids actually listen to my recording?

Sure that’s something to consider. In my experience some listen right away and others save them for later. But all cherish them.


Practice


Write a list of all the objections you expect to hear.

And ask your friends or family to suggest possible objections.

Write your acknowledgment followed by a suggested different point of view.

Then, back to the mirror, practicing out loud!! And then with a friend. 

Selling Skill No. Four: Asking for a Commitment.

WHY?


At some point in your discussion with a potential client you will want to help them make a go/no go decision.


The best way to do this is to ask.


There are several different ways to ask for a commitment. The key is to ask.


Here are some suggestions:


  • Well, shall we get started?

  • Would you like to go over the terms and conditions?

  • Shall we schedule a time to meet to get things underway?

  • Sounds like this is a fit for you. Shall we go over the steps and make a start today?




Practice


You guessed it; back to the mirror.

Write your own list and ask the questions out loud. 

Try to get the tone of your voice to sound matter of fact. You never want to pressure people.


If they respond with an objection, handle it as discussed above.


If they need more information, ask them what else you can tell them and remember to add benefits.



Now that you have completed this module, are you able to:

  • Recite a brief elevator pitch without hesitation or confusion?

  • Use a PowerPoint presentation and present your services to a group, without hesitation or confusion?

  • Research and determine to whom to promote your business?

  • Produce and send emails to people you know telling them about your services?

  • Ask at least two questions to uncover desire for recording a memoir?

  • Ask at least two questions to get a yes/no answer to get a commitment?

  • Set up a marketing and sales plan and timetable that you can start implementing immediately?

If not, just go back and review until you are confident you can use these skills.